Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I own nothing and can claim nothing from the Harry Potter Universe. All characters still belong to JK Rowling.
Important – Please Read
This is going to be a Dark story. It is rated M for a very valid reason. This story is written for mature audiences only. If you are not an adult, please do not continue.
There will not be chapter trigger warnings on this story to protect the surprise and spontaneity of the story. Potential warnings may include death, murder, violence, domestic violence, dub-con, mention of non-con, loss of pregnancy, and drug/alcohol abuse.
I cannot and will not promise a happy ending.
Chapters will be much shorter than what my regular readers have come to expect. There is also not a set update schedule for this story.
Special thanks to the amazing Freya Ishtar. The first two chapter outlines of this story have been sitting in a notebook of mine for over a year and a half since I was writing The Silver Mage's Captive. Her encouragement has been invaluable as I've knocked the dust off of this plot bunny.
Acrid smoke still lingered over the Hogwarts grounds when the Ministry arrived. Shouts of terror, disbelief and sheer grief echoed through the corridors of the ancient castle as the bodies of both Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter crumpled to the stone floor of the Great Hall. Those left standing did not know what to do next. Who was the victor? Shocked Death Eaters and Order Members alike simply stared at their fallen leaders with fear of what was to come next. There was no time for another leader to rise up to rally either side to a more decisive victory. No time to avenge the deaths of the Dark Lord or the Chosen One.
The still-corrupt Ministry did not discriminate between the fighters marked with the skull and serpent on their left forearms and the students caught up in the battle. While the combatants stared at their comrades silently willing them to make a decision, seasoned Aurors and other members of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement swiftly took down all fighters regardless of what side they had been battling. Everything happened so quickly that resistance was almost non-existent.
Azkaban's damp cells were full the night of May 2nd of a rather motley assortment of prisoners. Only the individual spaces prevented the resumption of the lost battle as Death Eaters were mixed in with Order members, the foolish children of Dumbledore's Army and innocent students caught in the crossfire.
May 8, 1998
Hogwarts Professors Cleared of All Charges
The Daily Prophet is pleased to report that following the recent unpleasantness at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy, the respected professors and staff members of the school have been released from Azkaban and cleared of all charges. As a security precaution, the brave witches and wizards employed by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement arrested everyone present at the battle until further investigations could be made. Officials determined that with the exception of certain members of staff marked by You-Know-Who, they were only executing their solemn duties to protect the castle and their students within from violent invaders.
Minerva McGonagall, former Deputy Headmistress, has been appointed Headmistress. An exclusive interview with the exhausted professor as she returned to the damaged castle was…
May 12, 1998
Students Released from Azkaban; Parents Overjoyed
More combatants of what is now being referred to as the Battle for Hogwarts have been released and cleared of all charges. A number of students of the esteemed institution of learning were allowed to leave Azkaban late yesterday night and return to their homes much to the relief of their concerned and worried parents. The DMLE determined that the vast majority of the fighters attending Hogwarts at the time of the battle did so under duress and out of fear for their own safety.
Only known members of the rebel organization known as Dumbledore's Army are still locked up Azkaban awaiting trial. Fortunately, the Ministry had access to a charmed parchment from the school listing all students involved in the highly illegal student…
June 3, 1998
Hermione Granger, Leader of Dumbledore's Army, Sentenced to Life in Azkaban
The trial of known rebel leader Hermione Granger was over almost as soon as it began yesterday morning. Convicted of all charges by the full might of the Wizengamot, the late Harry Potter's best friend and suspected lover, will be living out the remainder of her natural life within the walls of Azkaban Prison. Deliberation only took five minutes before she was convicted. Trials of the other foolish members of the illegal student organization will begin later this month.
Due to the clearly untrustworthy nature of the creatures, all dementors have been removed from the island housing the prison fortress. Miss Granger will be transported there immediately. An appeal was immediately denied. The convicted has proven herself dangerous time and…
June 10, 1998
All Captured Death Eaters Convicted and Sentenced
A large number of Death Eaters, followers of You-Know-Who, were convicted of all charges brought forth by the Wizengamot. All were sentenced to spend the rest of their natural lives in Azkaban. Turn to page 7 for a full list of the prison's newest permanent residents.
June 20, 1998
Dumbledore's Army Sentenced to Life in Prison
All known members of the illegal student organization known as Dumbledore's Army will be joining their disgraced leader Hermione Granger in Azkaban. Trials were swift. Evidence was clear and…
April 9, 2003
Dolores Umbridge Named Minister for Magic
The Daily Prophet is pleased to announce that the respected Senior Undersecretary to the former Minister for Magic has been appointed…
The chilly air blowing off of the North Sea into Hermione's prison cell woke her up just as it had every day for five years. Though the dementors were long gone from the island, the pervasive damp and chill made the unlucky prisoners doomed to spend the rest of their lives in a six by eight feet cell constantly cold. She couldn't remember the last time she felt truly warm. Long before the day her best friend died and her entire world went to shit certainly. What she wouldn't give for just a few minutes of experiencing what it was like to actually feel warm again.
Every day in Azkaban was depressingly like the last. Extreme boredom was the worst of the plagues affecting the prisoners. They weren't allowed anything from the outside world – no books, no newspapers, nothing that might give them even a hint that there were still people living their lives like usual on the mainland. The strange collection of prisoners on her cell block provided a limited amount of entertainment. Old rivalries and homicidal plans were put aside long enough to allow the mixture of Order members, Dumbledore's Army and Death Eaters the opportunity to speak to other humans. One would go mad if they had to stay silent. In five years Hermione had developed not exactly a friendship, but certainly a friendly relationship with the Death Eater next door.
The bars on the sides of her cell started four feet above the ground and went up to the ceiling. She could stand at the bars and see directly into Lucius Malfoy's cell. Privacy was non-existent. It had taken her about a year to warm up to the man whose drawing room floor she once bled on, but once they were both on the same level as hated prisoners, they discovered mutual interests. Talking through the bars prevented her from losing hold of her mind. It was her greatest fear. Sometimes Hannah Abbott on her other side would stand at her bars to listen. Rarely did she have anything to add. Prison changed them all. The bubbly, friendly Hufflepuff was not the same girl Hermione remembered from school.
Sounds of snoring coming from Lucius' cell and silence from Hannah's told Hermione she was probably the first one awake. Sleeping all day was how many of the lifetime residents chose to cope with their circumstances. Across the narrow corridor and two cells over to the right was Walden Macnair's permanent home. A terrifying and brutal man outside the prison walls, inside he never spoke. Never engaged in the heated discussions that popped up around him. Rarely did anyone ever see him awake. His next door neighbor Thorfinn Rowle would throw handfuls of water on him every few days just to make sure he hadn't expired in the night. Hermione couldn't blame the defeated wizard for preferring his dreamworld to reality.
Hermione stretched her stiff limbs before climbing off of the thin mattress tucked in the corner of her cell. Lying still with only a thin blanket with holes covering her body would do nothing to keep her from freezing to death. She thought it was spring based on what little she could see out her tiny prison window. Not that the season seemed to matter. The chill never went away. Carefully, she rose from the floor. With her arms raised high above her head, she began her daily morning routine of stretching her entire body. It got the blood flowing in her tired body and helped to kill at least half an hour of never-ending time.
She was in the middle of stretching her tense back when she saw her directly across-the-corridor neighbor staring at her actions. Rolling her eyes and pretending she didn't see Antonin Dolohov staring, Hermione never once stopped her routine. Just as she had come to expect that her bones would be chilled, she had come to expect that a large part of her day would be spent with the Death Eater who marred her body in the Department of Mysteries watching her every movement. Not that either of them had much choice. Their cells looked directly into the other's.
"Good morning, megera," Antonin said with a smirk on his lips.
Hermione rolled her eyes, but did not respond at first. It did not matter how many times she asked him to stop, the Russian wizard continued to call her the ridiculous name. After a year of mutual imprisonment, he finally explained that the word meant he was calling her a shrew. He always said it with a smirk on his face. She certainly did not appreciate him accusing her of being a quarrelsome woman. Of course, when she would start to argue about it, she could see how he reached his conclusion. Usually she just preferred that he not speak to her at all.
"I imagine it would be impossible to go a single morning without you feeling the need to speak to me, wouldn't it?" she snapped.
"But I do so enjoy our talks," Dolohov replied, completely undeterred by her tone. One would do almost anything to keep sane in the tedium of prison. The Russian Death Eater liked to aggravate Hermione for fun. "And I love the way your cheeks flush red when I make you mad."
"Fuck off, Dolohov."
A loud groan from the cell next to hers startled Hermione into silence before she got much further in her familiar tirade.
"What I would not give for the two of you to just be able to shag," Lucius declared. "Maybe then you two would stop arguing through the sexual tension and the rest of us could finally have a lie in."
"Hear hear!" sounded through the cellblock.
Hermione could pick out the familiar voices of Hannah, Rowle, and Ginny Weasley on the other side of Lucius. She could have also sworn that she heard the little used voice belonging to Walden Macnair joining in the chorus. Instead of being annoyed right along with her, Dolohov simply laughed.
"Now how does that sound?" he asked, giving her a cheeky wink as he spoke.
"Like I'd rather be boiled alive in hot tar."
Arguments with Dolohov broke up the monotony of her day. She would never admit that she enjoyed them, but at least they helped pass the time. That's all anyone stuck for the rest of their lives in Azkaban could do.
From what she learned from returning residents to the stone fortress, conditions were better than they were before the end of the Second Wizarding War. She had heard horror stories about what living there under the reign of the dementors was like. It was a miracle that anyone ever came out of that place with their mental faculties intact. Though it was better, there still was a lot to be desired. Privacy was a luxury that none of them could afford. Cells faced other cells across the corridor. In five years she had seen Dolohov in his most intimate moments just as he had seen her in hers. His personal favorite seemed to be watching her take her weekly cold sponge baths.
Before they could get started on a truly entertaining row, the main door to the isolated cellblock swung open to admit one of the guards. As they were stuck in there until they were dead, the other humans on the island did not care much about their well-being. House-elves delivered their meager meals and their small ration of freezing sea water for their baths. It was rare to get a visit from someone outside.
The wizard entering the cellblock looked as if he would rather be just about anywhere else in the world. Hermione did not recognize him as one she had seen before. He looked young enough to still be at Hogwarts. Thoughts of her beloved school were best tucked in the back of her mind. She did not like to be reminded too often of what she had lost. It was too hard to go back to living where she did if she was plagued with memories of a roaring fire in her Common Room or the smell of the books in the library.
"What is this?" Thorfinn demanded of the wizard when he thrust a piece of parchment through his prison bars.
His question was not answered. The guard pretended as if he did not even exist. Simply walked on to the next cell and the next, slipping in identical sheets of parchment to the incarcerated. Hermione was one of the last to get her copy. Watching the other prisoners staring down at theirs made her extremely jealous. When was the last time she felt the texture of fresh parchment between her fingers? Smelled the dried ink?
She was not gentle when she pulled her copy out of the wizard's hand. Her eyes struggled to focus on the print in the dimness of the prison. When her eyes finally adjusted, she read of a Ministry sponsored program open to all current Azkaban prisoners sentenced to life. The first sentence was written in bright ink with large letters to catch her eye.
Would you like to be released early from Azkaban?
Considering she was supposed to die in prison, yes, she was quite interested. The parchment seemed too good to be true. Not only would she be eligible for early release if she was selected, but she would get to move out of the cell. Promises of a small house, good food, access to top medical care and permission to borrow anything they wished from the Ministry's extensive library rounded out the options. Inmates were asked to make a decision to volunteer.
Conversations up and down the cellblock proved that everyone was curious about the program. Anything to change their lives had to have been better than what they were already experiencing to some. Hermione wasn't so sure. It made her nervous to agree to the Ministry's plans without more details. Hadn't they already proved they were not worthy to be trusted?
"What about you, megera? You interested?"
"Aren't you all just a little bit suspicious that this sounds too good to be true?"
More than one person on the cellblock replied that for even a chance at release, they would do just about anything. Hermione was hesitant to volunteer even as every other prisoner signed their name to the contract the frightened guard brought back in.
"Come on, Granger," Dolohov teased. "You're not fooling anyone. Access to a library? I haven't seen you so turned on in five years just thinking about all of those books."
His smirk was a challenge. Despite her misgivings about agreeing to volunteer for something she was completely ignorant about, Hermione gave up and signed her name under everyone else's.
May 20, 2003
Has the Minister for Magic Discovered the Solution for the Declining Birth Rates?
Minister Umbridge unveiled a highly controversial plan yesterday to combat the decline of magical births in the country. As the Daily Prophet has previously reported in earlier editions, studies have been conducted to uncover why so few magical babies are being born. While the research is ongoing, the Minister has a plan to start boosting the population immediately.
It is no secret that after the tragic events of five years ago, there are a large number of powerful witches and wizards locked up in Azkaban. The Minister proposed a breeding program for the inmates, including those serving a life sentence, in an effort to provide magical babies available for adoption by Ministry-approved parents. Participants will be matched up with a partner determined by extensive testing to be the most biologically and magically compatible.
Participants in the program will be moved to secure location on a nearby…